philip lelyveld The world of entertainment technology

14Jun/19Off

Transmedia Storytelling Initiative launches with $1.1 million gift

mit-transmedia-initiative-launch-00_0MIT’s School of Architecture and Planning (SA+P), working closely with faculty in the MIT School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (SHASS) and others across the Institute, has launched the Transmedia Storytelling Initiative under the direction of Professor Caroline Jones, an art historian, critic, and curator in the History, Theory, Criticism section of SA+P’s Department of Architecture. The initiative will build on MIT’s bold tradition of art education, research, production, and innovation in media-based storytelling, from film through augmented reality. Supported by a foundational gift from David and Nina Fialkow, this initiative will create an influential hub for pedagogy and research in time-based media.

The goal of the program is to create new partnerships among faculty across schools, offer pioneering pedagogy to students at the graduate and undergraduate levels, convene conversations among makers and theorists of time-based media, and encourage shared debate and public knowledge about pressing social issues, aesthetic theories, and technologies of the moving image.

Vision for the initiative

Understandings of narrative, the making of time-based media, and modes of alternative storytelling go well beyond “film.” CMS in particular ranges across popular culture entities such as music video, computer games, and graphic novels, as well as more academically focused practices from computational poetry to net art.

See the full story here: http://news.mit.edu/2019/transmedia-storytelling-initiative-launches-0612?fbclid=IwAR0BaxxrZxZ6MslkfATuOiKwEfTiR4AQpGV7gDiPO5h9bqi4R3ghoSFqtMs

14Jun/19Off

From Brueghel to Warhol: AI enters the attribution fray

d41586-019-01794-3_16776874The computer, says Honig, can pick up “so many more details, so much more easily”. Take windmills: hundreds of pictures featuring them fill her Brueghel database. The algorithm has picked up identical images of the structures in multiple paintings. It can even show when a replica has been flipped. And it has helped to pinpoint exact copies of lions, dogs and other figures. The workshops of many Renaissance artists were co-working spaces, so the computer technique helps Honig to piece together how different artists, in the family or not, might collaborate. “Rubens comes in and does some figures, and then Jan Breughel comes in and does the horses, the dog and the lion, because he’s ‘Mister Animal’,” Honig says. “And so they fit the things together.”

Elsewhere, AI is being harnessed to address a perennial problem of material legacy that underpins art history: deterioration. For instance, the Verus Art system from start-up Arius Technology in Vancouver, Canada, is deploying a 3D scan–print system — initially devised to study damage to Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa — to replicate artworks precisely, down to textured brushstrokes and pigment hues. Intended for education, outreach and archives, the ‘backed-up’ paintings might have another use: foiling thieves more discerning than those fooled by Castelnuovo Magra’s cheap copy.

See the full story here: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-01794-3?utm_campaign=the_download.unpaid.engagement&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=73685941&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-8c3HDGlv3EDYfC6Sw6FUiWBAu-IGnOOjl6av9R0FZIpwMOYkOzQWIWRzAueCDsLcrcPpdXYmoKGgEen9R_6vkYcb8Clg&_hsmi=73685941

14Jun/19Off

Adobe Shows Off First Research for Tools to Detect Manipulated Photos

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https://gizmodo.com/adobe-shows-off-first-research-for-tools-to-detect-mani-1835516127?fbclid=IwAR1ZDdCaVhbEWCneD-ngtB6Ie01H5SfwPPvIBlGbHs8A2ymEwa7nlG2Pta4

14Jun/19Off

Stanford Team Aims at Alexa and Siri With a Privacy-Minded Alternative

The group at Stanford, led by Monica Lam, a computer systems designer, last month received a $3 million grant from the National Science Foundation. The grant is for an internet service they hope will serve as a Switzerland of sorts for systems that use human language to control computers, smartphones and internet devices in homes and offices.

The researchers’ biggest concern is that virtual assistants, as they are designed today, could have a far greater impact on consumer information than today’s websites and apps. Putting that information in the hands of one big company or a tiny clique, they say, could erase what is left of online privacy.

The system from Dr. Lam’s group is called Almond. In a recent paper, they argued for an approach in which virtual assistant software is decentralized and connected by programming standards that will make it possible for consumers to choose where their information is stored and how it is shared.

A first version of the service was released last year, and the Stanford researchers are now trying to build an alliance with larger technology and consumer companies.

merlin_155267160_67a82178-de2f-4a01-8bd9-35c8428de2ae-superJumboThey also hope Almond can leapfrog existing virtual assistant systems in its ability to understand complex language.

Dr. Lam said the threat to privacy cannot be overstated. For example, she noted that Wynn Resorts in Las Vegas last year installed Amazon Echo devices in rooms.

“Once they said that what happens in Las Vegas stays there,” she said. “Now that’s no longer necessarily true. Now it might end up in Seattle.”

See the full story here; https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/14/technology/virtual-assistants-privacy.html?

14Jun/19Off

Sensor Fusion for Learning-based Tracking of Controller Movement in Virtual Reality

These vision-based systems are unable to track controllers when they move out of the camera’s field-of-view (out-of-FOV). To overcome this limitation, we employ sensor fusion and a learning-based model. Specifically, we employ ultrasound sensors on the HMD and controllers to obtain ranging information. We combine this information with predictions from an auto-regressive forecasting model that is built with a recurrent neural network.

See the full story here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/publication/sensor-fusion-for-learning-based-tracking-ofcontroller-movement-in-virtual-reality/

14Jun/19Off

Linklaters launches new ‘virtual reality’ legal internship

LAPTOPIn offering exposure to virtual colleagues and clients, the ‘Linklaters Virtual Programme’ hopes to equip participants with practical legal skills and commercial awareness as they contemplate a career in law.

During the online internship, which starts at the end of this month, students will undergo a series of tasks similar to that completed by Links’ vac schemers and trainees on a day-to-day basis.

The seven-step virtual training programme begins by requiring participants to “pitch to a consortium of banks” that need legal advice ahead of a fintech acquisition. It then rounds off by asking participants to leave a voicemail for a client, before listening to a recording from one of the firm’s partners offering tips on communicating with clients.

Although, according to the website, the programme is meant to take five to six hours to complete, there is no time restriction on completing the tasks — meaning online interns can fit the modules around their studies. The e-learning style tasks are also not assessed, but instead provide model answers allowing students to mark their own work.

See the full story here: https://www.legalcheek.com/2019/06/linklaters-launches-new-virtual-reality-legal-internship/

14Jun/19Off

Automakers eye VR to banish boredom in autonomous cars

RTX6ZB1AStartup holoride, co-founded by an Audi subsidiary, for example, demonstrated at the show how it wants to turn road trips into virtual reality experiences, allowing passengers to swim with whales or through sunken ships in the deep sea while on a drive.

As the car accelerates or steers sideways, the movements are logged by a computer installed in the car's trunk which adjusts the passenger's view in the VR goggles accordingly. It also prevents the passenger from experiencing motion sickness.

Audi's Meiners and Nissan's Ueda said the virtual experiences their firms are developing would likely only be deployed when the industry reaches "Level 4", or fully autonomous standards, in which the car can handle all aspects of driving in most circumstances with no human intervention.

See the full story here: https://europe.autonews.com/automakers/automakers-eye-vr-banish-boredom-autonomous-cars

14Jun/19Off

How Microsoft hopes to preserve privacy while gathering AR map data

In the first of the two papers (“Revealing Scenes by Inverting Structure from Motion Reconstructions”), scientists from Microsoft Research and the University of Florida show that the aforementioned AR point clouds, reconstructed using structure from motion or simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM), retain enough information to rebuild detailed scene images even after the source pictures have been discarded. Their novel AI system reconstructs color images in the scene given 2D projections of sparse 3D points and their features, even in the absence of attributes like visibility and in cases where the points are irregularly distributed.

towards_privacy_figure_2The second paper (“Privacy Preserving Images-Based Localization”) — the work of ETH Zurich and Microsoft’s Mixed Reality & AI lab — posits a privacy-preserving approach to AR localization that lifts 3D points in maps to randomly oriented 3D lines that pass through the original points. The new representations bear little resemblance to the original scenes on their face, but still allow for precise positioning because of the close correlation among the 2D image points and the 3D lines.

See the full story here: https://venturebeat.com/2019/06/13/how-microsoft-hopes-to-preserve-privacy-while-gathering-ar-map-data/

13Jun/19Off

Laurie Anderson: ‘It’s a great time to be creating new realities’

5332The moon is the focus of the latest work from avant-garde pioneer Laurie Anderson, which is fitting, given that she’s a former Nasa artist in residence. To the Moon, her new collaboration with Taiwanese artist Hsin-Chien Huang, has allowed Anderson to create a typically definition-defying journey. She says of the exhibition, which reaches Manchester international festival on 12 July: “I’m happiest when I can’t really define the work. To the Moon is an experiment in hybrids, seeing how these various media can come together and share images, stories and music.”

See the full story here: https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2019/jun/13/laurie-anderson-new-realities-to-the-moon-manchester-international-festival?CMP=share_btn_fb&fbclid=IwAR3G6_6wi8lnS4afEPv3kQgv7qvQVXgIjcu56qREQKBsitGYyRvEBAwS1o0

13Jun/19Off

E3 2019: Will Microsoft’s ‘Minecraft Earth’ take augmented reality beyond ‘Pokémon Go’?

la-1560351085-4hfwn03es4-snap-image la-1560351181-pr2niomeff-snap-imageAll eyes will be on “Minecraft Earth,” an augmented reality game coming to Android and iOS devices, which will begin beta testing in the coming weeks. Microsoft hopes the title will show that there’s far more to the experimental gaming space than “Pokémon Go.”

 But don’t overlook “Minecraft Dungeons,” due out for most major platforms in spring 2020 and designed by a relatively compact team (for a major studio at least) of 20.